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Comics Alliance Best of 2015: Character Most In Need Of A Solo Book In 2016

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Our judges have adjudicated; our readers have voted. We’re proud to present to you the character most in need of a solo book in 2016 — and four great runners up.

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The Power of SHAZAM! Happy Birthday, Captain Marvel

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There have been nearly a dozen characters named Captain Marvel in the last seventy-five years of comics, but only one of them has headlined the best-selling comics franchises of a decade, and, indeed, one of the best-selling series of all time. And guess what? It wasn't the one who could make his arms and legs fall off.

The very first of these Captains Marvel debuted on this day in 1939, in Fawcett Comics' Whiz Comics #2, which was, somewhat counter-intuitively, actually the first issue of that series. The character was originally named Captain Thunder, but someone else already held that trademark. And so, in a story by Bill Parker with art by CC Beck — who would go on to become the defining artistic voice for the character — and with some hastily re-lettered word balloons reflecting the last minute name change, Captain Marvel zoomed toward his destiny in the last days of 1939 (issue cover dated Feb. 1940).

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Born 104 Years Ago Today: Remembering Otto Binder, Comics’ Forgotten Genius

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The names of many of comics' greatest creators of the Golden and Silver Ages of comics — Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Jerry Siegel, and, increasingly in recent years, Bill Finger — are deservedly well known by the average comic fan. However, the name of the writer of some of the best-selling comics of all time, and the creator of some of comics' most enduring characters, Otto Binder, is utterly unknown to many comics readers, making him perhaps the medium's most underrated writer.

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The Evolution of Shazam: Best Captain Marvel Stories by Decade

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Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.

With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Captain Marvel comics.

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What to Expect From the ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Comic-Con Panel

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Warner Bros.

Faster than a speeding bullet, Comic-Con is upon once again. The biggest, nerdiest party in the world kicks off on Wednesday in San Diego and, yes, ScreenCrush and ComicsAlliance will be on hand to cover it all. With Marvel, Sony, and Paramount, all sitting out this year’s big geek bash, the clear #1 panel to anticipate is Warner Bros.’ Saturday morning showcase of their upcoming slate. The presentation will include clips from the new live-action Pan starring Hugh Jackman, and the movie version of the ’60s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But the star attraction is unquestionably an appearance by Zack Snyder and the stars of next spring’s hotly anticipated Batman vs. Superman.Faster than a speeding bullet, Comic-Con is upon once again. The biggest, nerdiest party in the world kicks off on Wednesday in San Diego and, yes, ScreenCrush and ComicsAlliance will be on hand to cover it all. With Marvel, Sony, and Paramount, all sitting out this year’s big geek bash, the clear #1 panel to anticipate is Warner Bros.’ Saturday morning showcase of their upcoming slate. The presentation will include clips from the new live-action Pan starring Hugh Jackman, and the movie version of the ’60s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But the star attraction is unquestionably an appearance by Zack Snyder and the stars of next spring’s hotly anticipated Batman vs. Superman.

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Ask Chris #245: Superman vs. Shazam

Ask Chris #245, art by Howard Porter

Q: You've mentioned it a few times now; what makes the idea of Captain Marvel an even better idea than Superman to you? -- @dispenserotruth

A: The thing about Superman and Captain Marvel --- or Shazam, as the kids are calling him these days --- is that you can't really talk about one without talking about the other. I mean, you can, but the histories of those two characters and how they evolved over the years are so tied up together, both on and off the page, that they couldn't really have happened the way they did about without each other.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Ask Chris, DC, Opinion

How C.C. Beck and Captain Marvel Put the Wonder in Superhero Comics

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Charles Clarence Beck, better known by his initials as C. C. Beck, was born on this day in 1910. A monumentally talented artist and cartoonist, Beck co-created and defined the look and creative direction of one of comics' most iconic characters, who also happened to star in what was, at the time, the best-selling comic in the world: Captain Marvel.

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Filed Under: , Category: Anniversaries, DC

‘Shazam’ Could Be Coming Sooner Than You Think, According to Dwayne Johnson

DC Comics
DC Comics

A few months back, Dwayne Johnson hinted at an earlier release date for Warner Bros.’ Shazam, in which the actor is set to play the villain, Black Adam. The film has been scheduled for a 2019 release on WB’s big, busy superhero slate, but Johnson is once again promising that we’ll get to see Shazam much sooner than that.

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Filed Under: , , Category: DC, Movies

The Great Super-Costume Poll: Captains Marvel

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For day four, we look at the high-ranking uniforms of the Captains Marvel, with our pick of the best costume for each major character to bear the title --- four of them from Marvel and one from Fawcett (via DC). How does Carol Danvers' cosplay-favorite flight-suit stack up against the big red cheese's fancily embellished union suit?

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The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies, Chapter 1: ‘Adventures of Captain Marvel’

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Republic Pictures

The number one movie of last year was based on a comic book. The year before, two of the top five movies were based on comics. The year before that, both of the two top movies of the year were inspired by comics; both went on to make more than $1 billion worldwide and are now among the top 15 highest-grossing movies in history. Next year, no less than ten (10) movies based on comic books will open in theaters. Blessed are the geeks, for they have inherited the earth, at least as far as Hollywood is concerned.

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